What should I look for in a chemical exfoliator?

There are three main types of chemical exfoliant. All are acids, but some are gentler and less penetrative than others. The main thing to remember is the higher the concentration and lower the pH, the more intense the exfoliative effect.

How do I choose the right chemical exfoliant?

Sensitive skin has great trouble in finding the perfect chemical exfoliator that won’t irritate their skin. If you’re one of them, look for mandelic acid or PHA (Polyhydroxy acid) as they have larger molecules that don’t penetrate too deep inside. These are found to cause minimal to no skin irritation.

What ingredients should you look for in a chemical exfoliant?

Lactic acid is the best exfoliating ingredient for dry, sensitive skin. Salicyclic acid is the best exfoliating ingredient for oily, acne-prone skin. Chemical exfoliants like alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids are recommended over physical exfoliants.

What type of chemical exfoliator should I use?

“Salicylic acid at lower concentration is preferred for sensitive skin,” she says. “A lower concentration glycolic acid exfoliant can also be well tolerated by those with sensitive skin. Lactic acid is effective in treating dry skin.”

Should I be using AHA or BHA?

AHA is best for dry skin and surface-level skin concerns like acne scars. BHAs are best for oily and acne-prone skin types. You can use both by buying products with both ingredients, or by alternating products.

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Do I need BHA or AHA?

Lower concentrations may be used to help calm sensitive skin. You may also have more success with BHAs if you wanted to reduce rosacea-related redness. If you’re primarily looking for dry skin relief or anti-aging benefits, try an AHA. If you want to tackle acne, look to BHAs.

Is hyaluronic acid a chemical exfoliant?

Hyaluronic acid is lots of things. … Since the ingredient has all but taken over the beauty space, “hyaluronic acid” or “HA” is used as an umbrella term for any and all types: natural, topical, injectable. Despite the use of the word “acid,” hyaluronic acid is not an exfoliator.

Is retinol a chemical exfoliant?

It’s a popular misconception that retinol is an exfoliant. It isn’t, because it cannot break the bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface. Retinol is an antioxidant, and an important skin-restoring ingredient that can impact how skin cells mature.

Is salicylic acid a chemical exfoliant?

Salicylic acid acts as a chemical exfoliant to peel away the top layers of skin. People can look for products that contain salicylic acid or sources of salicylic acid.